L.D. 50 (album)

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L.D. 50
Studio album by Mudvayne
Released August 22, 2000
Recorded 1999–2000 in The Warehouse Studio, Vancouver
Genre Heavy metal[1][2][3]
Length 68:32
Label No-Name/Epic
Producer GGGarth and Mudvayne
Mudvayne chronology
L.D. 50
(2000)
The End of All Things to Come
(2002)
Singles from LD.50
  1. "Dig"
    Released: 2000
  2. "Death Blooms"
    Released: 2000
  3. "Nothing to Gein"
    Released: 2001

L.D. 50 is the debut studio album by the American band Mudvayne. Released in 2000, it is the band's first release on Epic Records, following the independently released extended play, Kill, I Oughtta. L.D. 50 was coproduced by GGGarth & Mudvayne and executive produced by Steve Richards & Slipknot member Shawn "Clown" Crahan. The band's elaborate visual appearance resulted in increased recognition of the band and L.D. 50 peaked at No. 85 on the Billboard 200. The album was appraised by critics for its technical and heavy style of music.

Background and production[edit]

Mudvayne formed in 1996 in Peoria, Illinois.[4] The band became known for its strong visual appearance, which included horror film-styled makeup.[5] After independently releasing their debut extended play, Kill, I Oughtta, the band signed to No-Name/Epic Records.[5] L.D. 50 was produced by Garth "GGGarth" Richardson[6] and executive produced by Steve Richards and Slipknot member Shawn "Clown" Crahan.[4][5][7][8][3] Epic Records initially chose to promote the band without focusing on its appearance and early promotional materials featured a logo instead of photographs of the band. However, the band's appearance and music videos increased recognition of the album.[5]

According to the band, the production of the album was very hectic. Drummer Matthew McDonough reflected, "We worked around the clock, and some of the engineers we had with us literally went for days with-out sleep. It was very, very time-intensive. We didn't party. We were recording in Vancouver but didn't get to see the town-we were just there and we worked and that was it. It was very intense, and Garth ran a tight ship."[9] Singer Chad Gray recalled, "Making the record was crazy. It was all about work. There were songs I left alone and didn't mess with until we were in the studio, which was not a smart idea considering the time and budget constraints we were under. I wrote 'Pharmaecopia' and 'Nothing To Gein' on our last night in the studio, before the tapes were sent to New York to be mixed. The pres-sure was insane."[9]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Several of the album's interludes feature excerpts from Terence McKenna.[3][10]

L.D. 50 features a technical style of music which has been referred to by the band as math metal.[11][12] Mudvayne's musical style has influences of death metal,[13] hardcore punk,[13] jazz fusion[13] and speed metal.[13]

Mudvayne has found additional inspiration from artists such as Obituary,[14] Emperor,[11] Mötley Crüe,[14] Alice in Chains,[14] Pearl Jam,[14] King Crimson,[11] Porcupine Tree[11] and Metallica.[14] However, the band has stated that they are not influenced by other metal bands.[11] The album's 1st track, "Monolith", refers to Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey.[6] The band were greatly influenced by this film during the making of L.D. 50.[4][9]

During the songwriting process, the band members paired riffs with lyrics based on what Matthew McDonough referred to as "number symbolism".[13] According to McDonough, while he and Chad Gray wrote the lyrics to "Nothing to Gein", Greg Tribbett performed a riff which alternated in bars of 4 and 5. Because the number 9 is a lunar number, McDonough felt that the riff would fit the song's lyrics, which referred to serial killer and grave robber Ed Gein, whose actions McDonough associated with nighttime activity.[4][13] Gein's story grabbed the attention of McDonough and Gray as they were leafing through a book on murderers and true crime.[4] Regarding Gein, McDonough commented, "It seemed so impossible [for Gein] to bridge the gap into mainstream society. I found that exciting that I could find humanity in him".[4]

The album's title derives from the technical term 'Median lethal dose', abbreviated LD50, used by toxicologists to refer to the dose required to kill half (50 percent of) the members of a tested population.[4][6][13] A sound collage entitled "L.D. 50", composed and recorded by MjDawn, appears on the album as a series of interludes. The complete piece appeared as a bonus track on The Beginning of All Things to End, Epic Records' reissue of the band's 1997 self-released EP Kill, I Oughtta.[8][15] The album also features distorted audio clips voiced by American philosopher and psychonaut, Terence Mckenna, who died around the time of the album.[3][10]

The musical style of L.D. 50 has been primarily described as heavy metal.[1][2][3] Allmusic described the album, in addition to heavy metal, as alternative metal[16] and thrash,[2] Exclaim! described the album as nu metal,[17] and Spin magazine has described the album as having a "future-prog" sound,[18] while Morning Call referred to the band as industrial metal[3] and NME compared L.D. 50 to progressive rock artists such as Yes and Rush.[10]

Release[edit]

L.D. 50 was released on August 22, 2000.[2] It peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart and number 85 on the Billboard 200.[19] The singles "Dig" and "Death Blooms" peaked at No. 33 and No. 32, respectively, on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[19]

L.D. 50 was repackaged with The Beginning of All Things to End in August 30, 2011.[20] These albums, plus The Beginning of Things to End, a reissue of the band's demo Kill, I Oughtta, were repackaged as part of the "Original Album Classics" in 2012.[16]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]
Blabbermouth.net 8/10[21]
Drowned in Sound 8/10[22]
Exclaim! (unfavorable)[17]
Martin Charles Strong 6/10 stars[23]
Melody Maker 3.5/5 stars[24]
NME (unfavorable)[10]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[1]

Rolling Stone contributor Ben Ratliff gave the album three out of five stars.[1][2] Ratliff noted the band's technical background, comparing the songwriting style to that of Nirvana and stating that the album's interludes are better than those of Slipknot.[1] Ruhlmann found the band hard to take seriously.[2] Blabbermouth.net writer Borivoj Krgin praised its technicality and heaviness.[21] Drowned in Sound called it a "a solid record by anyones standards" stating that "If you're fed up with the poncing about that is mainstream Nu-metal then Mudvayne could well be the band for you." and "They are very heavy, very talented and if you can look past the fact that the drummer's make up makes him look like a hum-big with arms, they are very good."[22]

Allmusic described the music as "hard to take seriously", noting that "the CD booklet, which contains an acknowledgments section as lengthy and gushy as what you'd find on a teen pop album. Can these guys giving thanks and love to family and friends be the same ones performing aggressive lockstep metal, spewing obscenities, and singing about suicide?"[2] Exclaim! gave the album a negative review, stating that "Despite titles like "Internal Primates Forever," "-1, Nothing To Gein," "Pharmaecopia" and "(K)Now F(orever)" nothing can improve this pathetic nu-metal drivel." and "The only redeeming quality to this record is the intrusive fretless bass sound that kind of sounds like Les Claypool's noodling."[17] The NME gave the album a negative review, describing the album as "An unholy stew, baby, a musical ebola" and that there were " far too many incidences of Rush-style mid-'70s ponce metal 'proper' singing. Think Yes. Think 'Stonehenge' by Spinal Tap. Think prog-rock bollocks, baby!"[25] In 2014, Revolver ranked the album sixth on their list of "10 Nu metal albums you need to own", stating that "the album’s prog-rock experimentalism and virtuosic playing hold up amazingly well–even if the rapping on tracks liek [sic] "Under My Skin" binds ‘L.D. 50′ more to nu-metal than to the math-metal tag".[26]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Chad Gray, Ryan Martinie, Greg Tribbett and Matthew McDonough. Interludes composed by Matthew McDonough

No. Title Length
1. "Monolith"   1:52
2. "Dig"   2:43
3. "Internal Primates Forever"   4:25
4. "-1"   3:58
5. "Death Blooms"   4:52
6. "Golden Ratio"   0:54
7. "Cradle"   5:14
8. "Nothing to Gein"   5:29
9. "Mutatis Mutandis"   1:43
10. "Everything and Nothing"   3:14
11. "Severed"   6:33
12. "Recombinant Resurgence"   2:00
13. "Prod"   6:03
14. "Pharmaecopia"   5:34
15. "Under My Skin"   3:47
16. "(k)now F(orever)"   7:06
17. "Lethal Dosage"   2:59
Total length:
68:32

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Ratliff, Ben (September 28, 2000). "Review of L.D. 50". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 12, 2007. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Ruhlmann, William. "Review of L.D. 50". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 February 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Intense Mudvayne Will Help 'Heavy Music' Kids Do The Math - Morning Call". Articles.mcall.com. 2000-09-22. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g McMullan, Michelle (January 5, 2001). "Mudvayne: The Birth of "Math metal"". Maximum Ink. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d Hay, Carla (April 28, 2001). "No Name's Mudvayne 'Digs' into the Billboard 200" 113 (17). pp. 17; 81. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  6. ^ a b c McIver, Joel (2002). "Mudvayne". Nu-metal: The Next Generation of Rock & Punk. Omnibus Press. p. 86. ISBN 0-7119-9209-6. 
  7. ^ Arnopp, Jason (2001). "Tattooed and torn". Slipknot: Inside the Sickness, Behind the Masks. Ebury Publishing. ISBN 0-09-187933-7. 
  8. ^ a b Sharpe-Young, Garry (2005). "Mudvayne". New Wave of American Heavy Metal. Zonda Books Limited. p. 213. ISBN 0-9582684-0-1. 
  9. ^ a b c "Bio". Web.archive.org. 2003-02-13. Archived from the original on 2003-02-13. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  10. ^ a b c d "NME Album Reviews - LD 50". Nme.Com. 2000-10-05. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Sheaffer, Caleb (April 9, 2003). "Mudvayne brings 'tongue-in-cheek' sensibility to BJC show". The Daily Collegian. Retrieved 5 January 2009. [dead link]
  12. ^ Wilson, Scott (August 30, 2001). "Mud Brothers". The Pitch. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2009. [broken citation]
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Bienstock, Richard (2002). "Mask Hysteria". In Kitts, Jeff; Tolinski, Brad. Guitar World Presents Nu-Metal. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 79–82. ISBN 0-634-03287-9. 
  14. ^ a b c d e "Radio Has Helped The Group Find Its Place In The Metal Music Genre". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. January 29, 2009. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  15. ^ Torreano, Bradley. "Review of The Beginning of All Things to End". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  16. ^ a b http://www.allmusic.com/album/original-album-classics-mw0002338840
  17. ^ a b c Stewart-Panko, Kevin (November 2000). "Mudvayne L.D. 50". Exclaim!. Retrieved October 30, 2014. 
  18. ^ Wood, Mikael. "Review of Mudvayne". Spin. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  19. ^ a b c d e "Charts and awards for L.D. 50". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 February 2010. 
  20. ^ Monger, James Christopher (5 October 2011). "L.D. 50/The Beginning of All Things To End - Mudvayne". Allmusic. 
  21. ^ a b Krgin, Borivoj (December 25, 2001). "Review of L.D. 50". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 24 February 2010. 
  22. ^ a b Bezer, Terry (April 5, 2001). "Mudvayne". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved October 30, 2014. 
  23. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (2006). "Mudvayne". The Essential Rock Discography (8th ed.). Open City Books. p. 745. ISBN 1-84195-860-3. 
  24. ^ "Review of L.D. 50". Melody Maker: 61. October 17, 2000. 
  25. ^ "LD 50". NME. September 12, 2005. Retrieved October 30, 2014. 
  26. ^ Burgess, Aaron (September 9, 2014). "10 Nu-Metal Albums You Need to Own". Revolver. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  27. ^ a b c d http://www.allmusic.com/album/ld-50-mw0000091917/credits